NSVH Blog

Category: A Day In the Life

Not All Online Pharmacies Are Created Equal!' | August 8, 2017

One of the most stressful parts of being a pet owner is making medical decisions. At NSVH, our goal is to help our clients work through this process by pointing them in the right direction, with the best options. Often times such decisions involve veterinary prescriptions; with the plethora of online pet pharmacies available we […]

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Our Love Letter to Abby' | February 1, 2017

Dear Abby, Thank you. There is no other way to start this letter to you without thanking you.  You have been an amazing dog, mom and friend. One month before you entered our lives, we opened Newtown Square Veterinary Hospital. Our hearts were led to partner with Senior Dog Haven and Hospice, the organization that […]

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Baby, It’s Cold Outside' | December 20, 2016

Our good friends at PetPlan have created a guide with some tips to keep our pups and kitties safe and healthy when the weather turns cold. Animal hospitals throughout the Philadelphia area see some specific cold-weather injuries and illnesses when the temperature drops. What are the most common cold-weather issues we see at Newtown Square […]

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Something’s Fishy!' | November 4, 2016

We’ve always had fish as pets. Currently, we have a 5 gallon tank on the kitchen counter; a few neon tetras, two snails and one glowfish swim happily against the current flowing from the tank’s filter. As a longtime fish owner, I read with interest a recent article in the New York Times about how […]

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They Really Ate It!' | October 17, 2016

Every year, Veterinary Practice News publishes an article which showcases radiographs that veterinarians have submitted. These radiographs have a common theme: interesting, unusual and hard-to-believe foreign body ingestions from a variety of animal patients. Foreign bodies are a common finding in the veterinary profession. (It even happens to us “animal professionals”; I previously posted about […]

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Land Shark' | September 21, 2016

We all have expectations of what our newly adopted puppies will be like: cuddly, cute, sweet, funny, and playful. What most of us don’t expect: a puppy piranha! So many clients show me their “war wounds” when bringing new puppies for wellness care to Newtown Square Veterinary Hospital. Puppy teeth are sharp teeth! They can slice and dice […]

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If you can fry an egg on the sidewalk…' | July 1, 2016

…you shouldn’t walk your dog on that same sidewalk! During the last week of school, I walked my dog Maeby to the bus stop to meet my son’s school bus. Maeby kept holding her feet up, doing an awkward dance that I didn’t recognize. It was a warm, pleasant 80 degree day, and when I […]

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“Vaccine Reaction”? Probably Not.' | September 27, 2015

Vaccinations are a scientific miracle. The number of human (and animal) lives saved by vaccinations cannot be overestimated. Once-common diseases such as canine distemper and feline panleukopenia have been virtually eliminated in vaccinated pets (I’ve only seen a handful of pets with these diseases, as opposed to some of my more seasoned colleagues, who used […]

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“My Breeder Said”' | July 12, 2015

There are three words that every veterinarian dreads: “My breeder said…” Fortunately, a good majority of owners these days rescue their new dog from a shelter or foster group. Certain clients are very loyal to specific breeds, and will elect to buy a new puppy from a breeder. There are some really good breeders out […]

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Please Don’t Waste Your Money!' | June 3, 2015

‘Tis the season! Flea and tick season, that is! Warm weather brings along with it parasites of all shapes and sizes. Pennsylvania is rife with external and internal parasites that can affect our cats and dogs. Ticks are by far the most prevalent parasite in our area, but fleas, heartworm, mange mites and intestinal parasites […]

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Your Pup is Not a Person!' | May 4, 2015

I recently saw this article and it emphasized a point that I’ve been making to dog owners for years: I love your dog, and I know you do, too…but your dog is not a person! Your dog is not a baby. Your dog is not human, and is not capable of human emotions! I know […]

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Your Vet Is Not In It for the Money' | March 4, 2015

This needs to be said. No veterinarian is in it for the money. I repeat: NO veterinarian is in it for the money. We become veterinarians because we love animals, and science, and we want to help creatures in need. With an average starting salary of $67,000/year and an average student loan burden of over […]

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Truth: It’s an Amputation' | January 24, 2015

It is 2015, and yet we still get requests from clients to declaw their cats. Although illegal in most of Europe and Australia, declawing is not (yet) illegal in the United States. There are even a few American veterinary schools that now refuse to teach their students how to perform declaws. When push comes to […]

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New Year, New (Skinny) Pet!' | January 2, 2015

I was so excited to see a blurb in a recent issue of Good Housekeeping magazine, discussing one of my great veterinary crusades: pet obesity. The cat in this photo is obese, but my guess is that many clients would think he’s only “chubby” or “plump”. Let’s call a fat cat a fat cat! Obesity […]

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I am a Community Helper!' | November 13, 2014

Yesterday, I had the great privilege of participating in the Malvern School’s Community Helper Day. My son recently graduated from a similar preschool program, so I was quite acquainted with the target audience (two to five year olds) and the topic of “community helpers”. Preschoolers spend a fair amount of time learning about different careers […]

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My Least Favorite Things' | October 9, 2014

I am so fortunate to have a career (a calling really) that intrigues, inspires and challenges me. I absolutely love what I do. And I love that, on random days, miniature piglets may show up at my job (see piglet selfie, at left.) For me, most days as a veterinarian are good days, and I’ve […]

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Scoot That Booty?' | September 4, 2014

We’ve all seen it: Fido, scooting his rear end along the carpet, dragging his nether regions across the floor. It’s not a pretty sight (and not a pretty smell.) Why on earth would Fido scoot, scratch and drag his tush? Scooting is unsavory to say the least, but it is also a frequent topic of […]

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Canines, Cancer and Chemo' | August 17, 2014

The diagnosis of cancer in Fido or Fluffy can be devastating and overwhelming. As with people, cancer is a common diagnosis in cats and dogs. There are a variety of treatment modalities available, depending on the specific type of disease present. Some cancers in animals can be treated with surgery and/or radiation, some can be […]

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Departure from Denver' | July 28, 2014

Today was my final day at the AVMA Convention, but I wish I could stay through the lectures tomorrow! If anyone has to stay in downtown Denver for work, or pleasure, I highly recommend the Hotel Teatro, a cute, unique, boutique style hotel. The Teatro is just two short blocks from the Convention Center and […]

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Hello from Denver!' | July 26, 2014

Well, friends, I’m lucky enough to be spending several days in Denver, Colorado attending the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) annual conference. The AVMA is the largest veterinary organization, and thus they host the largest continuing education conference for our profession. This is the third AVMA conference I’ve attended, and I have been consistently impressed […]

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A Chip on Your Pet’s Shoulder?' | July 21, 2014

Most clients know that NSVH offers microchipping for all pets. I am a huge advocate for microchips. Just last week, I had clients bring in a young, male stray cat who wandered into their yard. They intended to adopt the little guy, assuming he wasn’t owned by anyone. As is standard protocol for all lost […]

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Every Season is Pumpkin Season!' | July 12, 2014

It may be time for lazy beach days and summer BBQ’s, but many of us in veterinary medicine have pumpkin on the brain. Once available only in autumn, canned pumpkin is now available year-round in grocery stores. Why is pumpkin so important to veterinarians? Pumpkin is widely used as a source of dietary fiber for […]

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Don’t Call Me Olivia!' | June 25, 2014

*Update* Oliver has officially been adopted! See the comments at the bottom of this blog for more on his happy ending.   This story has a happy ending, but a not-so-pleasant beginning. Most of you know that Malvern Veterinary Hospital is fortunate to work with an amazing rescue group called Senior Dog Haven and Hospice […]

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Pet Foods: Clear as Mud' | June 1, 2014

Pet food is a hot topic for clients and veterinarians alike. Recalls involving pet foods and treats over the past several years have caused many caring pet owners to become distrustful of the entire pet food industry. Aggressive and misleading advertising by certain pet food brands has given owners false hope that if they feed […]

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How to Bring Your Cat to the Vet in 3 Easy Steps' | May 13, 2014

In the average week, we see easily three to four times more dogs than cats for appointments, despite the fact that pet cats outnumber dogs in the United States. Why is this the case? A recent study determined that the number of feline visits to veterinarians decreased 14% from 2001 to 2011 despite an increase in […]

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Animal Cruelty Prevention Month' | April 3, 2014

April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month. In my career, I am fortunate to have dealt with only a very small number of cruelty cases. Newtown Square Veterinary Hospital is privileged to have amazingly caring, compassionate clients who want to make the best choices for Fluffy and Fido. Unlike our shelter veterinarian colleagues, we rarely […]

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Keep Fido and Fluffy Healthy in Five Easy Steps' | March 26, 2014

Most of our clients are absolutely, positively devoted to their pets, which makes working at Newtown Square Veterinary Hospital such a pleasure. I’m often asked by clients what specific things can be done to keep Fido and Fluffy happy, healthy and long-lived. The right food, the right accessories and the right haircut may seem important, but […]

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Canine Misunderstandings' | February 24, 2014

Dogs are such wonderfully complex creatures. Like humans, we know that dogs can experience anxiety, fear, and joy. What dogs are not, however, are small people with exactly the same gamut of emotions, intentions and deliberations as their owners. Many of us inappropriately attribute complicated human emotions to our canine companions (called anthropomorphism), and this […]

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Food Fads' | February 17, 2014

So many trends in human nutrition have come and gone (think about low fat, low carb, “Atkins”, grapefruit-only, and cabbage soup diets). Unfortunately, some of these trends trickle down to our canine friends, with absolutely no scientific evidence to support their safety and efficacy. With limited oversight of the pet food industry, manufacturers can make […]

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Five Truths About Being a Veterinarian' | November 18, 2013

Most people have a vision about what it’s like to be a veterinarian (that vision probably involves your veterinarian wearing a gleaming white coat, being nuzzled by a sweet, fuzzy dog, simultaneously accepting loving licks of affection while painlessly administering vaccines.) The reality: your veterinarian’s white coat was soiled within 5 minutes of arriving at […]

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Whose Couch is it Anyway?' | October 6, 2013

Picture these too-common scenarios: Fido is chewing on a rawhide, his absolute favorite treat; you walk past him to get to the laundry room, and he growls repeatedly until you walk away. Fido is eating dinner voraciously from his bowl when your toddler toddles past; Fido growls and snaps at your unsuspecting 2 year-old. Fido […]

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Carbo-Loading' | September 30, 2013

I’m back in Pennsylvania and enjoying this gorgeous weather! The AAFP conference was great, but I was happy to bid adieu to the 90 degree Texan weather. The final day of the conference was devoted to feline nutrition, an essential topic especially given the obesity epidemic in our feline friends.

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Who is Walking Whom?' | September 19, 2013

Many dog owners can attest to the fact that taking Fido for a walk can be a real drag, primarily because many dogs pull their owners as if they are hoping for a first place Iditarod finish. This is particularly true of large breed dogs, but there are a few smaller breeds that can pull […]

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My Heart(worm) Will Go On…' | September 11, 2013

There are certain misconceptions we hear about over and over again from our fantastic and devoted clients. (E.g., “No, garlic does not prevent fleas – if it did, we’d all be using it” and “No, cats do not urinate on the carpet because they are spiteful!”) Heartworm disease is one of these topics, evoking a […]

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Nip, Gnaw, Bite, Chew' | August 28, 2013

We’ve all been there: your new puppy Fido Junior is 12 weeks old, and constantly biting anything he can get into his mouth. Your hands are scratched, your ankles are raw, your sneakers have seen better days and your table legs look like a beaver attacked them. Take a deep breath! Teething behavior in puppies […]

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Appreciating the Cuteness!' | August 8, 2013

Patients like Daphne, a bulldog puppy we saw today for a well visit, really make us happy to come to work! We love all our patients, cats and dogs alike. But there is something special about those puppies who are so happy to see us, they can’t stop wiggling with joy. Thanks, Daphne!

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Mangia, Mangia!' | August 1, 2013

A question I’m frequently asked by both new and experienced pet owners: “How do I know if my pet is really sick?” More than any other symptom, a poor appetite can be an obvious indication that Fluffy or Fido is ill. If Fido doesn’t eat for several days, particularly if Fido is a happy-go-lucky Labrador […]

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Just Batty' | July 18, 2013

One question many clients ask is why indoor-only cats need to be vaccinated for rabies. It is an understandable question with a fairly straightforward answer: in the state of Pennsylvania, the rabies vaccine is required by law for all cats and dogs 12 weeks of age and older, with a booster vaccine at one year […]

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2, 4, 6, 8, How Many Puppies Can You Appreciate?' | May 21, 2013

Your puppy, Fiona, is really cute. She came from a nice pet store on the thoroughfare and is a special new breed called a “MixiMuttiPoo”. You would like to have more, just like her. And maybe it would be nice for the kids to witness the miracle of birth. So maybe you will breed Fiona, […]

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VMD vs DVM' | April 2, 2013

Just as physicians are MD’s or DO’s, and dentists are DMD’s or DDS’s, veterinarians also have initials after our names. (You may have caught onto this, as these initials play into the name of this blog!) All veterinarians who graduate from a 4-year accredited veterinary school receive one of two degrees: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine […]

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Styrofoam Tears' | March 27, 2013

One of the best things about being a veterinarian is that every day is different, and every day presents new challenges. This week, I saw an emergency appointment with two pit bulls in the same family. The presenting complaint was “small balls coming out of the eyes.” What on earth could this mean?

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Drowning…In Debt' | February 27, 2013

An article in this week’s New York Times has been making the rounds in the veterinary community, with many of my vet school classmates posting a link to this article on Facebook. The article details one of the biggest crises in veterinary medicine: the crippling academic debt incurred by veterinary school graduates, the low starting […]

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No Easy Day' | January 30, 2013

Often, when people find out that I’m a veterinarian, one of the first questions I’m asked is: “Veterinary school is harder to get into than medical school, isn’t it?” This is a commonly held belief, and there is some truth to it. I’m also frequently asked “What does my daughter/son need to do to be […]

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These Are a Few of My Favorite Things' | December 14, 2012

I really, really like being a veterinarian. I like my patients, my clients, medicine in general and veterinary medicine in particular. I like routine puppy appointments and heart-pounding emergencies. I like surgery, gastroenterology, radiology, hematology and many other sub-specialities, all of which I get to practice on a daily basis. As is true of all […]

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A Hole in the Wall' | December 5, 2012

Yesterday I performed an umbilical hernia repair on an incredibly cute French Bulldog. The surgery went smoothly, but it was more than a cosmetic repair in this case. This young dog was born with the hernia, but recently the hernia went from being small and soft, to large, firm and bright red. One of my […]

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Let’s Be Friends!' | December 2, 2012

Dr. D VMD finally has a new Facebook page! Go to https://www.facebook.com and click “like” to have access to the latest blog posts, cool veterinary stories, warm and fuzzy animal photos and an occasional gross medical photo. (Hey! I love gross! And I can’t wait to share the gross!) Or just scroll down to the bottom of […]

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Call the Ambulance!' | November 26, 2012

Whenever I meet a new client at our animal hospital, I like to give them a brief rundown of our hospital’s hours, policies and procedures. We do see emergencies whenever our hospital’s doors are open. However, it is important clients know that our hospital is closed overnight, and that we do not take overnight emergency […]

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Veterinary Fact or Fiction?' | November 11, 2012

After 7 years of practice in veterinary medicine, I have collected a number of “veterinary old wives’ tales”. There are many misconceptions common within the pet-owning community, and those of us who work in veterinary medicine tend to hear the same ones frequently. Some are of these old wives’ tales are cute and quirky, while […]

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Flea! Fi! Fo! Fum!' | October 24, 2012

It’s that time of year again, when the appointment calendar is full with itchy, scratchy dogs and cats. Some have seasonal allergic dermatitis, but many have…eek…fleas! In the Philadelphia region, August, September and October are the worst months for fleas, but we can see them any time of year, particularly during a warm winter.How to […]

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Housebreaking 101' | October 19, 2012

Your new puppy is so cute. He’s fluffy, and friendly, and playful…and he keeps urinating on the kitchen floor. You’ve rubbed his nose in it, taken him outside repeatedly, and tried to confine him to the kitchen when you’re not around, but the puddles continue. What do do? This, my friends, is Housebreaking 101, also […]

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Paging Dr. Google' | October 11, 2012

What did we do before the internet? How else could we settle a debate about which movie Jeremy Renner appeared in before The Hurt Locker, investigate a neighbor’s asking price for their newly listed house and check the weather obsessively? Clearly, since I write a blog, I’m a fan. Despite my love for all things online […]

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Home is Where the Danger Is?' | October 3, 2012

A recent news story by our local CBS affiliate, featuring my veterinary classmate Dr. Garett Pachtinger, told the tragic story of an owner who came home to find her dog with her head stuck in an empty bag of potato chips. Sadly, Lucy, a pitbull mix, had suffocated and could not be revived. While a […]

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Goodbye, Farewell and Amen' | September 28, 2012

“Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” was the title of the final episode of M*A*S*H, my favorite childhood television show. It could also be the title of some of the sadder days I’ve experienced as a veterinarian. A recent article in the New York Times addressed some of the moral and ethical dilemmas surrounding end-of-life care and […]

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Reference Desk' | September 14, 2012

This is a great time to be a veterinarian. Particularly, in populated areas like suburban Philadelphia, we have a myriad of specialty and emergency referral practices to which we can send our clients and patients. Veterinary emergency clinics are a real boon for us general practitioners. Locally, there are many highly trained, eminently qualified emergency […]

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High Maintenance' | September 2, 2012

Pets of all species require some amount of work from their owners, with certain pets (pet rocks) being much less work than others (thoroughbreds). The truth is, that even within a specific species, certain breeds seem to require more maintenance, and in turn, more expense than others. This is certainly a consideration when choosing which […]

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More to Love' | August 28, 2012

In Italian-American families like mine, food is often equated with love. Many pet owners want to love their pets in the same way- with too much food. As a result, we have an obesity epidemic among our household dog and cat populations in America. Several times a day, I talk to my clients about putting their […]

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Up, Up and Away' | July 18, 2012

While I’m on vacation with family this week, my pets are safe at home with a trusted petsitter. It’s just not possible to bring all three of them when we travel. Many pet owners are lucky enough, however, to travel with their pets, whether by plane or car. Small dogs and cats can be brought […]

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A Slice of Lyme' | June 8, 2012

Just recently, a client asked me what I knew about the human Lyme disease vaccine and why it was pulled from the market. Since my veterinary hospital is located in what I refer to as the “epicenter” of Lyme disease, we frequently field questions about Lyme disease prevention and treatment. While veterinarians practice on many […]

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Many Lemons Make Lemonade' | May 28, 2012

I’ve been lucky to share my home with many cats and dogs over the past years (and lucky to have a husband who helps manage the zoo!). Like many of my clients, I’ve been unlucky to have pets with unusual, chronic and sometimes expensive diseases and conditions. I’ve learned an incredible amount from my pets, and their […]

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Everyone Does It' | February 21, 2012

Pet owners spend an inordinate amount of time viewing, cleaning up and thinking about their pets’ bowel movements. (This rule also, of course, applies to parents of young children, but that’s well beyond the scope of this blog.) Is my pet going enough? Too much? Does it have an unusual smell? Does it look funny? […]

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